Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beryl Taylor's Artistry

Gloria Hansen here.

Carol introduced you to Kristin; Liz introduced you to Natalya.  I am over-the-moon happy that I have the pleasure of introducing our other two new members: Beryl Taylor and Benedicte Caneill, both of whom I consider dear friends.

Today I present Beryl Taylor.  Beryl creates amazing art.  I've followed her work for years, and was practically first in line to get her Mixed Media Explorations: Blending Fabric, Fabric and Embellishment to Create Inspired Designs back when it was published in 2006  by Quilting Arts LLC.  Not only has the book  gone on to be wildly successful, but her innovative methods of creating "fabric paper" to incorporate into her unique artwork launched an entire trend with others going on to publish their variations based on Beryl's method.
Beryl gave me this gorgeous piece as a gift Lucky moi!

I knew Beryl was from England, and that she trained at the City & Guilds textile and embroidery program, but I was floored to learn that she, her husband, and son moved several years ago to the same town as my mom in NJ, about a 15 minute drive from my home!  It wasn't long afterwards that she contacted me relating to a  web project, and I was thrilled with the opportunity to work with her.  Having been in the crewel embroidery master craftsman program through the Embroiderer's Guild of America many years ago, I was immediately captivated by her attention to detail and exquisite hand work.  Next thing we were swapping stories, sharing work, and becoming fast friends. 

Every time I visit Beryl she wows me with whatever it is she is working on.  Never fail she'll smile and say, "You won't believe what I made this from, " as she then describes some unusual concoction of what sounds like trash, such discarded book pages, tossed away lace with holes in it, tissues, the shredded lining of a jacket, napkins, torn pieces of wallpaper, molding paste, or other such things.  She'll then explain how she combined those materials with more traditional ones such as gesso, paint, beads, and thread.  She is an absolute master at transforming such mixes into sophisticated and rich pieces of art that go far beyond her original ingredients.  Her work is complex and layered, yet soothing and inviting.  She combines hand stitching with machine, ragged hard edges with softness, and I find myself often getting lost in her work, discovering new details as I move in closer and wonder through the textures. 

While visiting with her this week she pulled out a huge clear plastic bag filled with what at first glance looked like a massive pile of corn husks.  She explained it was a gown from the 18th century that someone gave her.  The silk fabric was heavily pleated , and it shredded in our hands as we stroked it.  She said, "Look at this texture. Let's use it in some fabric paper and see how it comes out."  (In a future post, we'll share some results.)  That is one of the many things I love about her:  She has not only the vision to look at things through the lens of artistic possibility, but the drive to explore, play, and discover.  She is a very cool lady to have as a friend!


Beryl has taught for several years, sharing her methods and inspiring many, many students.  She also stars in the Mixed-Media Art Quilts DVD and Layer by Layer DVD, both available at the Interweave Store, in addition to several appearances on Quilting Arts TV Her work is also regularly appears in a variety of other books publications.

Beryl Taylor
Beryl is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and I am so pleased that she joined 8 That Create!

Beryl shared eight things she loves, which are:

1. To give life back to a tossed book
2. To stitch by hand or with my machines.
3. To work with all types of media.
4. To travel, it inspires me, I love the museums of different countries.
5. Music, especially romantic; I always create with music in the background.
6. My two Golden Retrievers, Buddy and Holly.
7. My family and friends.
8. I believe in Angels (and ABBA).

Welcome Beryl!

3 comments:

Kristin L said...

Welcome Beryl! I look forward to getting to know you and your art better. :-)

Natalya Aikens said...

wonderful interview!

Carol Sloan said...

Lovely introduction Gloria! I can't wait to get to know Beryl on a personal level. Welcome to the group!